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I thought I read somewhere that there have been fairly recent changes to the rules regarding inherited IRA's. I was focusing on a child who inherits an IRA, which would be my case.

The Vanguard information indicates that a child would still have to take the RMD's (required Minimum Distributions) .

I thought I read where they wouldn't have to take those RMD's with the recent tax changes.

Your resident gay moderate tax guru to the rescue.

Nothing has changed regarding IRAs. For a long time spousal beneficiaries can treat the decedent's IRA as their own. Non-spousal beneficiaries must begin RMD's based on the beneficiary's life expectancy.

What has changed, effective 1/1/2007, is that a non-spousal beneficiary of a 401(k) can roll it into an inherited IRA. Although the beneficiary must take RMD's, they can now be stretched over the beneficiary's life the same as inherited IRAs.

This got a lot of play as a boon to same-sex couples when it was enacted. It's still not the latitude available to a legal spouse, but it's better than it was.

This discussion brings to mind one of the many horrifying stories of 9/11. A Lesbian civilian employee at the Pentagon was killed. She was survived by her partner of many years and various family members. Since she had never bothered to name her partner as her beneficiary, her 401(k) went to the family.

Couples of any orientation who are not legally married need to make sure all their papers are in order.

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